Russia Targets Kyiv With Drones In Morning Strikes: Ukraine War News

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Two government buildings in Kyiv and at least four houses in the region surrounding the capital were damaged, Ukrainian officials said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.CreditCredit…Laura Boushnak for The New York Times

KYIV, Ukraine — Russia attacked the Ukrainian capital Kyiv before dawn on Wednesday with a swarm of 13 Iranian-made drones, most of which were shot down by Ukrainian air defenses, according to Ukrainian officials.

The morning attack in the capital followed similar attacks in the Black Sea port of Odessa over the weekend that appeared to end a one week break in Russia the use of weapons.

Two government buildings in Kyiv and at least four houses in the region surrounding the capital were damaged, authorities said, but it was unclear whether they were hit by direct strikes or by falling debris from drones fired from the sky. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine praised the air defense systems at a short video message posted on the Telegram messaging app and said all the drones appeared to have been shot down.

Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine have been subject to Russian missile attacks that have removed power and other infrastructure as the country heads into the cold winter months.

Kyrylo O. Budanov, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, told Ukrainian media in October that Russia had used some 330 Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones in the war against Ukraine, of which 222 had been shot down. .

Budanov said that Russia had ordered about 1,700 drones, which were being delivered in batches of 300 at a time. It was not possible to independently verify the claims, but they do correspond with estimates by Western officials and military analysts.

The first sound 24-year-old Yaroslav Vinokurov heard on Wednesday just before 6 a.m. was the howling of an air raid alarm in the dark. He continued to prepare for work, since alarms go off almost every day. But soon machine gun fire echoed across the Shevchenkivskyi district as air defense systems flashed across the sky, followed by what he described as “A very loud explosion.”

“I lay down on the floor, since I didn’t know what else could happen”, said Mr. Vinokurov. Only once he was quiet did he get out.

The roof of a nearby government building was damaged and debris littered the area. “My car is totaled,” she said, looking at the damage.

Residents scrambled to put sheets, blankets and whatever else they could find on the damaged windows to keep out the bitter cold. It was 23 degrees Fahrenheit, well below freezing, when the sun came up around 7:50 a.m.

Just two days before the strikes, Yurii Ihnat, the Ukrainian Air Force spokesman, warned that Russian forces are now using attack drones at night. If the drones are launched during the day, he said, the Ukrainians can use large-caliber machine guns and other small arms to shoot them down. But in the dark, they need expensive and limited air defense missile systems that can track incoming drones by radar.

Even in the dark, residents of the capital have become familiar with the sounds of Russia’s relentless aerial bombardment.

maria varenikova Y kim victoria contributed reporting.

A correction was made in

December 14, 2022

:

An earlier version of a video with this article, based on information from Reuters, erroneously indicated when some of the footage was taken. It was taken in October, not on Wednesday.

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